• Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Victoria’s booming tech sector is applauding the province for establishing a new trade and invest... see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    Techies hail new Seattle trade office

    Greater Victoria’s booming tech sector is applauding the province for establishing a new trade and investment office in Seattle.

    Saying it will improve access to capital, especially for higher-risk start-up ventures, Victoria’s tech sector sees the move as a step toward its goal of having its companies more than double their existing combined revenues to $10 billion by 2030.

    “As we aspire to grow our tech companies by almost 300 per cent, the most natural market for us to pursue has always been the United States,” said Dan Gunn, chief executive of the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council. “Something that close and easy to reach for customers, strategic partners and investors is a terrific opportunity.”

    Gunn said the Seattle office just makes sense, as combined with the existing office in San Francisco it covers off the two closest and most important markets for Island tech firms.

    The Seattle trade and investment office opened this week and expands the province’s trade network in the U.S.. There are currently offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston.

    The goal is to attract investment to B.C. and connect B.C. companies with venture capitalists, potential workers and partners in the U.S.

    “I’ve always seen Seattle as the key focus for B.C. aerospace. It’s the world’s largest aerospace hub and only 45 minutes away,” said Scott Dewis, chief executive at Race Rocks 3D. “[Seattle-based] Boeing has a large presence in Western Canada generating

    $3 billion in the Canadian economy. Seattle also has a large tech industry and many big corporate headquarters.”

    Clayton Stark, chief technology officer at Kixeye, said establishing offices in Seattle and the Silicon Valley is the right move to help tech grow in B.C.

    “I have to believe that any moves like this are likely to be net positive, at least for some segments of the industry, most likely those folks early in their ventures who are struggling to make connections and gain access to experienced mentors and investors,” said Stark. “There isn't enough risk-tolerant investment available locally and it’s no secret we have to look south of the border to gain access to more sophisticated players.”

    The province, with a tech sector that recorded just over $26 billion in revenues in 2015, intends to open a new office in the Silicon Valley this fall.

    “Having a new presence in the Seattle market is key to continuing to grow the British Columbia brand and to build on the Cascadia Innovation Corridor,” said Will Fox, managing director of B.C.’s U.S. Trade and Investment Office.

    The Seattle office will be run by director Troy DeFrank, who spent the last six years as a trade commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada in Seattle.

    “As a British Columbian who has worked on both sides of the border, there has always been a natural, progressive and rewarding relationship between the two regions,” said Edoardo De Martin, director of Microsoft Vancouver.

    “This is an opportunity to formalize it and bring together the tremendous talent and ingenuity we have in B.C. and Washington state.”

    The addition of a new trade and investment office is only one piece of the puzzle to improving the lot for tech companies in B.C., said Stark, who added that Ottawa has a big role to play.

    “I always come back to the federal government’s real opportunity to drive technology in Canada forward, which is to remove the punitive tax laws that prevent Canadian companies from accessing scientific research and experimental development grants if they have in excess of 50 per cent of their funding coming from outside of Canada,” he said. “This outdated system continues to penalize Canadians for taking U.S. funding, even when that funding is used to put Canadians to work in our primary industry.”

    As a result, Stark said his enthusiasm for accessing American capital is tempered significantly.

    “Being U.S.-funded creates a material operating disadvantage relative to those companies who are able to secure Canadian investment,” he said. “This really needs to get fixed in order to maximize the value of these trade department initiatives.”

    B.C. also has trade and investment representatives in Japan, South Korea, India, China, the Philippines, Indonesia and Europe.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    The annual three-day summit brings together international venture capitalists and established techno see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    Venture capitalists get closeup look at work of Greater Victoria tech firms

    Greater Victoria’s high-tech industry will be throwing open its doors to a record number of international visitors this week as the Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council kicks off Experience Tectoria Wednesday night.

    The annual three-day summit brings together international venture capitalists and established technology firms to see first-hand what has shaped and supported the sector, which the industry group said generates $4 billion annually in combined revenues.

    “We started this in 2012 and the whole idea was to make sure really important people around the world got a look and understanding of what we’re doing in the city,” said Dan Gunn, chief executive of VIATEC.

    This year, they are bringing 46 visitors to the city to tour through established and start-up firms.

    “It’s a record number and rather than have them locked in a room and facing pitches [from new companies] we wanted to give them a complete sense of the vibrancy and opportunity here,” Gunn said.

    The event is designed to focus on the more established and successful firms in Victoria and to make sure local tech leadership feels the full benefit of the summit.

    It include tours of local tech firms with hosts who have grown companies in the city. Greater Victoria tech leaders will have a chance to take part in an executive training seminar designed to give them the tools they will need to expand their companies.

    Gunn said that seminar is part of preparing companies for the push to grow the sector to its goal of having its constituent firms more than double their existing combined revenue to $10 billion by 2030.

    Greater Victoria’s tech sector has about 880 businesses and employs more than 15,000 directly. It also counts another 3,000 consultants and 5,000 others who work in tech jobs within larger firms and government. VIATEC’s membership has more than doubled to 560 members over the last two years.

    Gunn said as the sector has grown the message it sends during events such as Experience Tectoria has evolved.

    “We used to talk a lot about start-ups and investing in those, but what we realized is we haven’t been conveying the long history of success and impact of the local tech industry,” he said. “So this year we are focusing more of our time to introduce the [venture capitalists] to some of our more established and most successful companies.

    “It will give them a sense of what’s possible and why it happened here and that way it’s easier for them to see how they might participate or how a small company might grow into something of consequence here.”

    Also a part of this year’s summit are a screening of the film She Started It, which followed young women over two years as they tried to build new companies; a series of origin stories from local entrepreneurs; and a F**k-up Night, where people share stories of failed projects.

    VIATEC runs Experience Tectoria at this time of year to use the Rifflandia Festival as a backdrop, and another example of the vibrancy of the city.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Latitude has received Transport Canada CAN-TSO-C159b approval of the company's DL150 SDU. see more
    Victoria, BC Canada - December 1, 2015 - Latitude Technologies, the premier global supplier of flight data management, flight following, and Satcom solutions for fleet operators, has received Transport Canada CAN-TSO-C159b approval of the company's DL150 SDU (Satellite Data Unit) built to Technical Standing Order C159b "Next Generation Satellite Systems (NGSS) equipment." The DL150 SDU utilizes the Iridium(R) satellite network to provide global pole-to-pole coverage and also meets the component fitment requirement of AC 20-140B "Guidelines for Design Approval of Aircraft Data Link Communications System Supporting Air Traffic Services (ATS)." The company has begun taking orders for immediate shipping of the DL150 SDU to channel partners across the world.
    Commenting on the C159b approval, Latitude President, Mark Insley, noted, "Our DL150 FANS Datalink SDU is the first product to have gained Rev b. notable for its more complex MOPS (Minimum Operational Performance Standards) testing than was required with prior versions.  It is wonderful to also acknowledge the close cooperation between the FAA and TCCA that occurred prior to the design approval being issued by Canada.  Our DL150 is one of the first TSO applications to be part of the international treaty synchronization between civilian aviation regulatory agencies FAA (USA) and TCAA (Canada), including EASA (Europe), to harmonize and therefore recognize each country's TSOs."
    The DL150 SDU is a solution for business and commercial jet operators looking for a lightweight, multi-function, cost affordable Iridium Data Link device to complete their FANS 1/A+ installation. Approved to CAN-TSO-C159b, the DL150 is also qualified for ARINC GLOBALink and SITA AIRCOM networks. DL150 qualification includes RTCA DO-262B, DO-178C DAL D, and DO-160G. The DL150 supports ATS notification, ACARS and CPDLC messaging, and ARINC-741 and ARINC-618 protocols. The DL150 also supports optional autonomous flight-tracking, 3-axis acceleration monitoring, Arinc-429 messages and has discrete inputs and outputs for optional event reporting.
    #          #          #
    About Latitude Technologies
    Latitude Technologies Corp., headquartered in Victoria, British Columbia, is an accredited aerospace parts manufacturer and provider of flight data monitoring, flight following, and satellite data and voice communications equipment and services. Latitude's SkyNode® products are the most versatile and economical-to-operate aeronautical communication devices in the world. The company's IONode™ is the industry's first lightweight flight data recorder and advanced data acquisition unit, capable of real-time event and exceedance alerts and automated post-flight wireless data transfer. Latitude's DL150 FANS 1/A+ Data Link is the first lightweight multi-function SDU on the market. Latitude provides reliable and secure aviation data and communication options for crew safety, fleet logistics, and operations and maintenance efficiencies with the WebSentinel™ flight tracking and Latitude Flight Data Analytics™ web-based data management platforms for desktops, dispatch centers, and mobile devices.
    For more information about Latitude's flight data and satcom solutions, visit or call 1-888-966-5599.
  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    The RevUP Program is vital for technology companies with rapid-growth issues. see more

    New Program Focuses on Critical Tools for Fast-Growing Technology Companies

    November 4, 2015 – Vancouver, BC, Canada: The RevUP Program is vital for technology companies with rapid-growth issues. BC Acceleration Network (BCAN) members Accelerate Okanagan, VIATEC and Wavefront announced today that they are mutually introducing RevUP as a custom-developed program that will be offered in the Okanagan region, Victoria and Vancouver. Individualized action plans, personal leadership coaching and targeted skill development are what make RevUP effective in efficient business growth. 

    RevUP seeks to overcome the common challenges that growth stage entrepreneurs often encounter: building scalable revenue and customer acquisition models, ensuring efficient operational processes and accessing capital opportunities. By participating in RevUP, companies are given the tools to address these needs. Participation benefits include: customized business growth plans, mentorship and coaching for the leadership team, tailored training opportunities and peer-to-peer engagement with other businesses that possess similar pain points. 

    Application intake commences immediately.

    “The pain points of growth-stage technology companies are unique in that the pain is not only felt by the Founder or CEO, but by the entire leadership team,” said Pilar Portela, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan. “The peer-to-peer format of RevUP is designed specifically for those top-growth issues. We’re grateful to be collaborating with our BCAN partners on the delivery of this effective program.”

    “We’ve worked very hard with our partners Accelerate Okanagan and Wavefront to speak with scores of entrepreneurs in the three regions to ensure we’re offering the right mix of resources and opportunities.” said Robert Bennett, COO and Program Director of VIATEC. “We heard quite clearly that RevUP must deliver what they need, when they need it, tailored to each venture’s current stage and strategy. We are excited about what RevUP has to offer growth-stage companies in our regions!”

    “We’re thrilled to introduce RevUP, which will help provide crucial support to growth-stage companies,” said Brad Lowe, VP, National Accelerator Operations at Wavefront. “BC is home to some of Canada’s fastest-growing technology companies. Through RevUP, Wavefront and our partners will address an area of need for these businesses who are ready to take their growth to the next level.”

    About Accelerate Okanagan: For technology entrepreneurs and their companies, Accelerate Okanagan is the business accelerator that provides the specialized tools, disciplines, and structure required for success. They offer unrivalled category expertise, experience, and environment through an innovative not-for-profit, zero-equity-stake model. To find out Accelerate Okanagan can help your technology business, please visit

    About VIATEC: VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology & Entrepreneurship Council), was incepted in 1989 and serves as the one-stop hub that connects people, knowledge and resources to grow and promote the Greater Victoria technology sector. In addition to member benefits, VIATEC offers flexible office space and entrepreneurial advice in their building called Fort Tectoria. It's equipped with open work stations, private offices, boardrooms, a lounge and a cafe. /

    About Wavefront: Wavefront is Canada’s Centre of Excellence for Wireless Commercialization and Research (CECR), accelerating the growth and success of wireless companies by connecting them with critical resources, partners and opportunities, to drive economic and social benefits for Canada.  To learn more about Wavefront’s diverse program and service offerings, please visit



    • Pilar Portela
      Accelerate Okanagan
      250-870-9028 Ext. 2108

    • Dan Gunn

    • Jonathan Sue